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Biel says hard work pays off

As Vickie Biel played in her final sports event for Ellsworth High School last week, the realization struck her.

"Everything's coming to an end," the senior said.

The end for Biel and 141 of her fellow classmates will officially come 7 p.m. Friday in the Ellsworth High School Gymnasium when they graduate. As valedictorian, Biel will deliver one of the evening's speeches.

While she admits some nervousness about public speaking, she's not too worried.

"I have it written," she said, laughing. "It just needs some touching up. As long as I'll be prepared, I'll be fine."

It's that type of preparation that led to Biel's success on the athletic fields and in the classroom.

She competed in both volleyball and softball during her four years in Ellsworth. A member of the varsity volleyball team since she was a sophomore, Biel played an integral role in the volleyball team, which fell one game short of going to state last fall. (To hone her volleyball skills, Biel played club volleyball during the winters.)

Her interest in sports started when she attended volleyball practices while her mom Margie coached 9th graders.

Since her father Mark is also a big sports fan, Biel said it was only natural for her to play some sports in high school.

The teamwork aspect of volleyball appealed to her.

The success Ellsworth achieved last fall wasn't that surprising, said Biel, because her class had been successful during the middle school year. (Besides Biel, Ellsworth will lose starters Olivia Halls, Chelsea Hanson and Becca Lippert.)

But to fall in the sectional final and lose in the fifth game still stings seven months later.

"It's kind of hard because you get so close," she said. "It's still a sore spot." In addition to softball and volleyball, she was a member of Student Council, Math League, JETS (Junior Engineering and Technical Society), PALS and Badger Girls.

Meanwhile, the chance to be named valedictorian was an opportunity she wasn't going to miss.

"It was a goal of mine," said Biel.

Her favorite subjects included calculus, advanced placement history, English and art.

"There is nothing I really hate," she explained. She added she preferred the upper level classes due to the topics discussed.

Come fall, Biel will be attending UW-Madison. She hasn't declared a major yet, but is leaning towards broadcast journalism.

"I looked at other schools," she said. "But, I knew I wanted to go there."

Biel has one brother -- Bill, a sophomore.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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